You are watching: What advantages did the north have over the south during the civil war?
Within job of the fall of fort Sumter, four more states join the Confederacy: Virginia, north Carolina, Tennessee, and also Arkansas. The fight lines were currently drawn.
On paper, the Union outweighed the Confederacy in virtually every way. Nearly 21 million world lived in 23 north states. The South declared just 9 million civilization — consisting of 3.5 million servants — in 11 confederate states. Regardless of the North"s greater population, however, the South had an army virtually equal in size during the very first year that the war.
The North had an huge industrial benefit as well. In ~ the start of the war, the Confederacy had actually only one-ninth the commercial capacity that the Union. However that statistic to be misleading. In 1860, the North made 97 percent that the country"s firearms, 96 percent that its railroad locomotives, 94 percent the its cloth, 93 percent the its pig iron, and also over 90 percent of its boots and also shoes. The North had twice the density of railroads per square mile. There was not even one rifleworks in the entire South.
All of the principal ingredients of gunpowder were imported. Due to the fact that the North managed the navy, the seas to be in the hands of the Union. A blockade can suffocate the South. Still, the Confederacy was not without resources and willpower.
The South could produce every the food that needed, though carrying it to soldiers and also civilians was a major problem. The South likewise had a good nucleus the trained officers. 7 of the eight military colleges in the nation were in the South.
The South also proved come be really resourceful. By the finish of the war, the had developed armories and also foundries in numerous states. Castle built huge gunpowder mills and also melted down thousands of church and also plantation bells because that bronze to build cannon.
The South"s biggest strength lay in the truth that it to be fighting ~ above the defensive in its very own territory. Familiar with the landscape, Southerners might harass northern invaders.
The military and political objectives of the Union were lot more complicated to accomplish. The Union had to invade, conquer, and occupy the South. It had to damage the South"s capacity and also will to resist — a formidable difficulty in any war.
Southerners appreciated the initial benefit of morale: The south was fighting to keep its means of life, vice versa, the North to be fighting to preserve a union. Enslavement did not become a moral cause of the Union initiative until Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
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When the war began, many an essential questions were still unanswered. What if the slave says of Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Delaware had actually joined the Confederacy? What if britain or France had come to the assist of the South? What if a few decisive at an early stage Confederate victories had actually turned northern public opinion versus the war?Indeed, the north looked much better on paper. Yet many factors undetermined at the outbreak the war can have tilted the balance sheet toward a various outcome.